The Personal-a-Teas Café Community is all about, well, ‘personality’.
Our focus is upon the personality of our client cafés and of course, the personalities of the customers who frequent our member cafés. Once we know the personality of the café and its respective customers, we compose engaging content and tailor creative promotions with the objective to raising local awareness, generation of referrals and increasing footfall on behalf of the café.
All coated with a very strong sprinkling of ‘Community Spirit’.
Remember, for instance, how we described McCabe’s Deli as a reflection of Ray, the owner, as a battle-hardened fighter, ‘tough as old boots’, and yet still able to stand tall, overseeing its survival against the many competitors, who ‘set-up-shop’ over the years in one of the most challenging areas in Dublin in which to set up a café business.
In this article we also commented upon the Townsend Street Paradox: there’s plenty of foot-fall, but, like a school of fish, the people are moving a break neck speeds with the tides of the Big Smoke’s Rush-Hour.
It’s as if to stop ‘swimming’ upon their journey, it would mean imminent suffocating death!
Maintaining the ‘fish’ analogy (for now), the owners of The Michan Spot, Jason and Josh, are endeavouring to swim in the oceans of Dublin’s thriving café scene. However, Jason (sorry Ary!!!) and Josh are swimming differently to the rest. Like wild salmon, they are swimming against the mainstream. They are doing things their way, on their own terms. They certainly aren’t following the ‘minimalist hipster blueprint’ as can be witnessed in much of the contemporary cafes ‘spawning’ across the city.
If describing Ray McCabe (and his wonderfully earthy café) as being like a battle-hardened fighter, well, Jason and Josh would be the new recruits, ‘The Fresh Meat!’. They are both ‘new’ to the café-ownership game (though Jason has trained and worked as a chef), and are meeting the ‘start-up’ challenges head on.
They’re tough ‘boyos’ and yet always softly spoken and smiling – they’ve always brightened my spirits and provided plenty of anecdotes about ‘how things are going’. Their toughness is exemplified not through unshaven facial growth, nor gravelly harsh accents, but through their willingness to open-up the café at The Witching Hour. Monday to Friday, The Michan Spot opens-up at 5AM.
Opening for business, Monday to Friday at 5AM every week-day morning!
(They open at 7AM on a Saturday!)
As far as I am aware, I don’t think there is another ‘stand-alone’ café in Dublin open at this time in the morning. (If I’m wrong, answers on a postcard, please!!!) It’s a statement of intent from the lads, emphasising determination to create their own niche in the thriving café space of Dublin. As a fellow entrepreneur, who is willing to go the extra mile, to burn the ‘midnight oil, to use copious amounts of ‘coffee and shoe-leather’ I can totally relate with them. We are on the same level, completely!
Having said this, I have yet to join the lads as they open-up The Michan Spot for the morning’s trade. (I have promised I would – what was I thinking???). In truth, I want to feel a fraction of this daily effort the lads are making. Presently, my bed keeps on winning the argument, but I’ve made this promise, and I intend to keep it! You will be the first to know about it when I take on ‘The Michan Spot Challenge’.
The Michan Spot will always be a special place for me. Little known trivia will tell you that I was their first paying customer on May 15th 2017. ‘One Americano, please’. So, it’s only fitting, that I was destined to gain inspiration from another creative source close to my heart. From the get-go, this article has been inspired by The Prodigy’s album; ‘The Day Is My Enemy’. The ethos of this record seems to fit The Michan Spot perfectly. Prodigy composer, Liam Howlett wrote this record in the dead of long nights, spent in his London based studio.
As described, Jason and Josh are opening-up every week-day morning at a time when only nocturnal creatures are scavenging around. The whiley foxes. The whiley foxes and our earliest workers.
Our Delivery Drivers.
Our Taxi men.
Our Fruit and Veg men.
Our Emergency Services.
Our Shift Workers.
Like the band itself, The Michan Spot Café is also a bit of an outlier. Geographically, it’s located on St. Michan Street which is just beyond the city centre, but not as far out as Smithfield! ‘This is not Smithfield!!!’ I have been told by a local and frequent Michan Spot customer, Norm. As with any true Dub, the hard exterior from working over 30 years on the markets, covers a friendliness, ready to tell tales of childhood mischief (in St. Michan’s Church!) and how the cityscape has changed over the years. You could listen to his tales for hours!
The food offerings of The Michan Spot combine the delicacies of gourmet sandwiches with the greasy salvation of Full Irish Breakfasts. (The Benny in a Bap is finger-licking divinity in a …bap!). They serve the wonderful Salamander Speciality Coffee without any pretentiousness nor pomp. They do this seamlessly. The Michan Spot offerings are diverse and damn tasty.
The Michan Spot is the café equivalent of The Prodigy’s aforementioned record – ‘an outlier’, uncompromising in character complimented by melodic tastes!